A long life is a good life
We aspire to create long-lasting wardrobes that consist of favorite clothes.
Sometimes the term sustainability seems slightly overused and inflated, with manufacturers fighting to launch the next most green initiative, taking back empty packaging or offering customers to sell their used clothes. The second-hand shops are drowning in fast fashion, donated to them in order to make room for new items in wardrobes - and to clear consciences.
But regardless of how sustainably we produce, or how many certifications we have, the most sustainable product will always be the one that is never produced.
In short, when it comes to clothes, a long life is a good life. We have spun that philosophy into our products. We want you to be able to create clothes in our yarns, that you'll want to wear until they are worn out. That requires quality. Quality in the materials, in the design and not least in the possibility for recycling and scrap usage.
In order for your knitwear to have a long life - preferably longer than both yours and ours - the materials must be of a very high caliber.
At Önling, we only use natural materials and only process them to enhance the properties that nature has given them. We do this because they have a durability that no other textile can live up to.
This lack of processing can result in a sweater or hat that is knitted in Önling yarns can 'peel'. It is not a fault in our product, and it is not at all a sign of poor quality. On the contrary, it is a natural characteristic and is in fact a sign of yarn in high quality produced with respect for its natural properties.
It is your proof that the yarn is not 'superwashed'. Superwashed is a term that describes a process that makes wool washable at high temperatures, but destroys nature by using both toxic chemicals, extra water and microplastics. At the same time, the process removes the parts of the wool that makes it warm and natural.
In other words, Superwashed is not a product we want to have our name associated with or sell. We care about the properties with which the yarn is born, because it means that your finished knitwear will
last and feels nice and natural to wear. In fact, we like to say that our yarns do not wear out – they age and bear the mark of time in the most beautiful way. All you have to do is to take good care of your knitwear with our maintenance advice.
Find tips on how to keep your favorite knitwear in great shape here
Designing for a long life
Trends and sustainability are two things that rarely go hand in hand – at least not for very long. Simply because what is designed for todays trends very quickly becomes obsolete – regardless of how sustainably it is produced. And then it ends up in the very back of the wardrobe, in a cellar somewhere or at a flea market to finally end up in a bag for the thrift store.
Therefore, the simple, the classic and the timeless is also an essential part of being sustainable. When we know we burden the planet every time we produce a piece of clothing, we should at least choose a design we want to wear for the next 10 years.
That way, we increase the likelihood that you choose to knit something that you'll want to wear for a long time.
At Önling, we have a strong belief that long-term sustainability is the way to create a strong relationship with our beloved customers. That is why we insist that our designs – i.e. both patterns, shapes and colors – must last as long as our yarns, and that is why we do not constantly come up with new models or collections.
We would for example rather give you good ideas on how you can renew what you have already knitted, than update an existing model with a small detail - and then sell the pattern as a new model and create a new need.
For that same reason, we have a fixed range of colors and only add new shades from time to time, or take some out if you don't fall in love with them - but it's never trend-based or trend-setting. We don't want sell you colors just because they're trendy. We want to become long-lasting members of your wardrobe; favorite garments you wear again and again and love just as much every time you put them on. This can only be done if everything we sell is of value to you every day, every week, every year and every decade.
The sustainable break-up
Of course we know. Know that although we do our very best to be among your wardrobe favourites, love doesn't always last.
Fortunately, Önling designs are born with the ability to be recycled - in several different ways. We call it the sustainable break-up. First of all, our quality is so good that you can pass it on without hesitation; give it a gentle hand wash or let it hang out for a day to freshen it up and pass it on to someone who will hopefully love it as much as you have.
Unlike industrial knitting, handknitting comes with a built-in possibility to start over. Because you can always unravel and knit again or knit something different. A solution is therefore always to change the knitted garment that you have become a little tired of. We will always do our best to advise and come up with good ideas on how you can give new life to what you have already spent time, effort and energy knitting.
Scrap yarn is by far the least sustainable yarn available. Simply because what is produced but never used is a real waste and a big climate sinner.
And if you anything like us, you pretty much always have a pile of scrap yarn lying around - or maybe several piles. At Önling we have decided to go to battle - not against, but with the scraps!
The best thing is of course to ensure that you end up with as few leftovers as possible - because this means that you use the yarn you buy. That's why we have developed our knitting kits concept, containing a pattern and the amount of yarn you need for the model and size you've chosen. If you – against expectation – still end up with entire and unused keys of yarn, you can of course return them to us.
But that doesn't do it alone. That's why we have created a whole section in our webshop with patterns that are suitable for knitting with scrap yarn, so you can get something useful and sustainable out of your leftovers. Occasionally, we also hold workshops at Önling, where we share our knowledge and good advice on how to use as many yarn scraps as possible. Our experience is that you can actually use up every single acrap before you have to buy new yarn - and we absolutely love that!
We are continuously working on developing even more material and more guides for you to use all scrap yarn in all drawers, because we know how important it is that we use every centimeter of yarn that is produced. Just think of the journey it has gone through to get to your home.
When it is time to say the last goodbyes
At some point, even the best woolen garment has to give up. Tired, fed up and worn out, perhaps with wear holes on the elbows or rib edges. If your favorite sweater has arrived to that point in its life, just be happy that it had a long life, spent in the best of company. And you can take comfort in the thought that all our yarns are biodegradable. You can actually compost your Önling garment and it will be gone in six months.
See, that is true sustainability.